Cambridge A-levels

Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) is the world’s largest provider of international education programmes and qualifications for 5 to 19 year olds.

Thousands of learners worldwide gain places at leading universities every year with Cambridge International AS and A Levels. The syllabus develops a deep understanding of subjects and independent thinking skills.

The Somerset College Cambridge Programme (SCCP) offers a programme which allows students to complete their A levels through a two year staged route consisting of AS level in the first year and A level in the second year, with examinations written in November of each year.

For students wishing to study overseas, Cambridge A levels are a passport to any university, as they are internationally recognised. For students wishing to study in South Africa, the Cambridge Programme brings a university approach and maturity to their work, which is of enormous benefit to their tertiary education.

The Somerset College Cambridge Programme students are taught in separate classes to those students following the IEB curriculum. AS and A level classes are integrated with the IEB timetable and are taught mostly in the morning. Some classes and practical sessions may be run in the afternoon where necessary.

Qualifications for Entry
Two year course
Candidates must have a minimum of six IGCSE credits. Subjects being considered for A level must have ‘A’ or ‘B’ symbols in their IGCSE or equivalent examinations. A minimum of a ‘C’ is required in all other subjects written.

South African candidates who have completed their Grade 10 may apply with a minimum of 60% in the subjects being considered at A -level.

It is the student’s responsibility to confirm eligibility for South African university exemption with Universities South Africa http://www.universitiessa.ac.za/

Changing to Cambridge after completing Grade 10
If you are considering such a change, it is important to bear the following advantages and disadvantages in mind before making a final decision.

Advantages
Should you know that your child will definitely be aiming for an overseas university, moving to the CIE examination system will streamline the process. A levels are recognised worldwide as the premier university entrance qualification and your child would exit the South African school system with this international qualification in the same time as it would take to complete a matriculation qualification.

International Acceptance of CIE A levels
In the UK, CIE A levels are very highly regarded in comparison to local UK A levels and will ensure that students enter university on a more than equal footing with UK students.

In countries such as the United States and Canada, good grades in carefully chosen Cambridge International A Level subjects can result in up to one year of university course credit.

Over 450 US universities accept Cambridge International AS and A Levels, including all Ivy League and Ivy Plus universities. These universities include: Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Princeton University, Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University.

Research has been carried out to explore whether Cambridge International AS and A Levels predict readiness for and continued academic success at US universities. Findings from a number of research studies suggest that the Cambridge programme compares favourably with other more established acceleration programmes in the US including Advanced Placement (AP) and the International Baccalaureate (IB).

Disadvantages
If a student wishes to keep the South African university option open, very careful consideration of subject choices is necessary to ensure matriculation exemption and adequate points. The Cambridge results are released later than the NSC results and this may make entry into university difficult in some cases.

The transition from Grade 10 to the Cambridge Programme is a challenging one in terms of academic standards and the levels of independence required. Some students miss the feeling of completion that finishing matriculation in their original school gives, with the possibility of prefect status and team sport representation.

Curriculum
Candidates must select five subjects in the first year (AS level) and at least three subjects in the second year (A-level).
The following subjects are offered (AS level subjects are indicated):
• English
• Afrikaans (IGCSE)
• Mathematics
• Physics
• Chemistry
• Biology
• History
• Computer Science
• German
• Economics
• Geography
• Other languages are offered by special arrangement

Extramurals
All activities offered in the College are open to students in the Somerset College Cambridge Programme (SCCP) who are also encouraged to develop new talents and to contribute to inter-house sporting and cultural activities. Community service and work experience form an integral part of the curriculum.

All College sporting facilities are available to our SCCP students but sport is not compulsory. Students who wish to continue their sport may do so but on the clear understanding that academic demands take precedence at all times.

Please read this interesting article published in The Sunday Times (UK) – Boys boost girls’ A-level results

Tuition fees for 2017
2 year staged route:
Year 1 AS level (5 subjects) ZAR 117 040.00
Year 2 A level (max 4 subjects) ZAR 117 040.00

Note:
• The fees shown above do not include textbooks and postage costs.
• Boarding fees are not included. Please contact us for more details regarding boarding facilities and costs.
• Debentures are not redeemable for the Cambridge Programme.

To listen to the radio interview on CapeTalk with top Cambridge AS-level student, Dario Trinchero, please click on this link

Read this excellent interview with Dario Trinchero featured on News24.

DSC_0401

The first intake of AS-level students!

Staff
Director of Somerset College Cambridge Programme – Mr Gareth Tucker
E-mail: g.tucker@somcol.co.za

Please direct any queries about enrolment to Patricia McNaught Davis at admissions@somcol.co.za

Cambridge website: http://www.cie.org.uk/

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